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Employee broke the law by downloading smut on his work laptop

Bo Jiang, a Chinese citizen,  was one of 281 nationals from countries designated as security threats employed at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  But following increased scrutiny by Congress and a month-long trip to China in December that raised red flags, Mr. Bo was fired from his Visual Information Processing lab position at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia -- on assignment from the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA).  Mr. Bo was fired for violating agency security regulations by taking a NASA laptop and an NIA external hard drive with him on his trip.

Then in March, when Mr. Bo tried to leave the country for China, he was arrested at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., suspected of violating the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC § 39).

Mr. Bo, who graduated with a doctorate from Virginia’s Old Dominion University in 2010 had been involved in retinex, a low clearance project working to development image improvement algorithms for space telescopes and other NASA cameras.

Unlike in some past cases where investigations confirmed suspicions of spying, a search of Mr. Bo's laptop showed that he was likely not passing NASA secrets to China, but that he was processing a different kind of image on his NASA laptop during his downtime.  Investigators found unlawfully downloaded copyrighted movies and sexually explicit films on the work machine.

Mr. Bo faces up to five years in U.S. prison on the porn/copyright infringement charges.  And when he does get out he likely won't be enjoying much adult entertainment; Chinese censors have a nationwide firewall blockade on pornographic content.

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: Ummm....
By AmbroseAthan on 5/6/2013 5:38:15 PM , Rating: 3
From the source article:

"Jiang faced as many as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted for lying to federal agents."

The porn was not the problem.


RE: Ummm....
By Jeffk464 on 5/6/2013 5:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
When are people going to learn you don't lie, you don't say anything, you let a lawyer talk for you.


RE: Ummm....
By Motoman on 5/6/2013 6:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
From the DT article:

quote:
Mr. Bo faces up to five years in U.S. prison on the porn/copyright infringement charges.


Doesn't mention that which you pointed out from the BusinessWeek article.

So...then the article also says this:

quote:
...is set to plead to a misdemeanor charge of violating agency computer rules.


So if you work for a government agency, and you violate company policy, that's not just grounds for termination...it's an actual crime?


RE: Ummm....
By lennylim on 5/6/2013 7:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
My take on this, which may not be true : you accuse an employee of espionage, which is treason. Turns out that you're wrong, but you found something embarrassing about him. Leak it to the press, tarnish his reputation, threaten him with a lengthy prison time, then offer to drop all that, in return for him not pursuing how his constitutional rights were violated during the process of the investigation.


RE: Ummm....
By Doken44 on 5/7/2013 4:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Bo Jiang, a Chinese citizen,..."
There are other rights that were violated, but the US constitution doesn't apply the rights of a US citizen to a Chinese.


RE: Ummm....
By Motoman on 5/7/2013 9:39:16 AM , Rating: 3
Yes it does...if they're in the USA.

Once you're present in the USA, the law gets applied to you the same as everyone else. Regardless of whether or not you're a citizen.

Imagine if a Canadian came down here and got pulled over for not wearing their seatbelt..."Oh, you're not a US citizen? K...straight to the electric chair then."


RE: Ummm....
By maugrimtr on 5/7/2013 9:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
I find it comforting that the US Constitution does not apply to non-US citizens in some people's confused world view. We should remind all the tourists that they have zero rights before they hop on a plane to NY for a vacation.


RE: Ummm....
By mike8675309 on 5/7/2013 2:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
In general judicial law does not apply to non U.S. citizens. Slate had a good blurb on this if you search Do Noncitizens Have Constitutional Rights?. While the bill of rights applies to everyone, the law is different. Congress gets to write the laws for non-citizens without judicial review, and in some cases those laws can override what for a citizen would be a constitutional right.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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